Latest articles

Close up of Canadian currency

Starting your self-managed accounts

Getting accounts started is a simple as a visit to your local bank

So you have emptied your piggy bank, read my book, and are now motivated to start a stock investing account. Or you already have accounts at a few different places and want to consolidate them to start managing yourself. Perhaps you are working with a financial advisor but want to take more control. How do […] Read more

Make the smart health choice

Approach your health plan as seriously as you approached your spring cropping plan

Many producers I talked to before spring seeding said they were going to run hard and put in long hours to make up for the late start. From a risk management perspective, the No. 1 priority every spring should be your health and safety. Over the past 10 years, advancements in equipment and technology have […] Read more

Becoming a landowner at last

A new farmer feels the responsibility of signing the papers on his first land purchase

Imagine a boulder. Imagine that boulder is perfectly and delicately balanced on the lip of a large, downward run. The thing that frightens me the most about buying the 80 acres has little to do with the specifics. No. It’s different than that. It frightens me because when I sign those papers later on today […] Read more

Reporter’s Notebook: How will we be farming in 20 years?

Lisa Guenther points to two agronomic problems shaping our future cropping plans

Agriculture has undergone big changes in the last century. Yesterday’s farmers would be amazed by the technology contained in a tractor and seeder these days, or by the vaccines that protect livestock from disease. Or even by the phones we tuck into our back pockets, and occasionally drop in the muck. It’s an interesting exercise […] Read more

Barbed wire fence through the tall golden grass fields

Sask. farm income and land prices

Land prices are rising but “this time it’s different.” Or is it?

Over the past decade or so I have gathered up data on wheat and land prices in Saskatchewan and converted them to current dollars. That way, we can better judge how we are doing compared to our ancestors. History has a way of repeating itself, so a look back can suggest what might return. I […] Read more

Where have these funguys gone?

Herbicides and “new” crops may play a role in controlling disease

Back in the 1970s and ’80s when I worked for Alberta Agriculture, take-all of wheat and barley and snow mould of winter wheat were hot topics on the Canadian prairies. Yield losses from these two diseases were considerable. Wet summers were bad for take-all, while deep snow winters often led to snow mould. I remember […] Read more

Landscape featuring a harvested grain field.

Interesting twist on high cost of farmland

These high prices are great news for sellers, but they leave buyers out of the game

Just about every farmer I talk to in all parts of the country has a common buyer’s complaint — they want to expand their farming operation but land prices are high. It is difficult for established family farms to grow and new farmers are finding it almost impossible to get into the business on land […] Read more

Pre- and post-harvest weed control

Q & A with CPS

Q: When should I start weed control for my crop? A: A weed-free crop at harvest represents the cumulative effort of field management during the season. To manage many weed species, the season begins the previous fall. Pre-harvest weed control tends to focus glyphosate application on perennial weeds such as quackgrass or Canada thistle. At […] Read more

Making a schedule and sticking to it

Taking time for off-farm pursuits requires a firm mindset and a strong constitution

It’s 2 p.m. Work is winding down. We’re just tinkering at this point, which, don’t get me wrong, is a valuable part of farming. I feel the pressure of a long list of off-farm tasks requiring my attention. I do a dry run in my head: “I should really head inside. I’ve got some writing […] Read more